tv NBC Bay Area News at 6 NBC December 18, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
expert tips on how to uncork your wine...plus,where to go for a cultural break from wine tasting.bringing this lifestyle into your own home, all now in wine country. hello and welcome, we're in wine country and i'm mary babbitt.we're at the steven kent winery in california's livermore valley. this wine area, east of san francisco is home to more than 30 wineries, with still more on the way. napa and sonoma may get more of the glory but did you know livermore was once the premiere wine growing region in northern california?
steven kent mirrassou believes it can be again. behind the label, meet a vintner with a past deeply rooted in california's wine history, yet focused on the future of livermore valley wines. my family's actually the oldest winemaking family in north america.growing grapes and making wine is in 6th generation vintner steven kent mirrassou's blood. the mirrassou family, has been making wine since 1854. 6th generation, yes. 152 years we've been doing this. today, he makes wine under the steven kent label. steven kent is my first and middle name. mirassou is a brand name owned by a different winery so we're not able to use mirassou as part of our business name. we're on the ghielmetti vineyard in livermore.while the mirrasou family grew grapes and made wine in san jose for decades, steven's father moved east to make wine in nearby livermore valley. livermore is one of the oldest wine growing regions in
california.grapes were planted here in the 1840s much the same time as napa valley. we believe that mother nature didn't shine her light strictly on the napa valley, especially as far as cabernet is concernedand we believe that cabernet is one of those varietals that can really shine in this region.mary what we have in this particular barrel is some cabernet that we're producing from our home ranch vineyard. steven kent's mission as a winery is to produce cabernet as great as any in the world and, we're really excited about doing it from a valley that's had a great history and i think we'll have an even greater history as we move forward.it doesn't smell too young, it smells great.i'm really happy with this particular vintage. steven's rich family history gives him inspiration.this is the mirassou family tree, my family's lineage. the first generation of the family is pierre pellier, who brought pinot noir to california in 1854. and his daughter henrietta married pierre
mirassou, my great great grandfather and where our name came into the equation as far as the family's business is concerned.this is a picture of myself, at about 14 years of age or so, and my dad, and my grandfather. 6, 5, and 4 generations. the roots of this winemaking family.absolutely. this is our 2002 cabernet sauvignon from livermore valley steven's also strongly rooted to his customers who visit his tasting room.what can i pour for you? cabernet, certainly. he says in livermore there's a good chance the person pouring wine is also the vintner. it's really a neat thing for wine loverswhat's also neat this is our guest book. is a way visitors can leave their mark on the steven kent winery.when you buy barrels from certain coopers they have these cardboard protectors, turn them over and its this blank canvas.some people have said, "i drink this cab all day long with my awesome family. love, debbie""muy yummy!"muy yummy,
very jammy gotta love that.i like that one a lot tooyou know i have a great idea too... since we've spent some time together why don't you add to our collection-let people know that you were here. aww could i?could you do that for us?sure surewhat should i write "livermore rocks!" ?? there you go. no place i'd rather be-the perfect sentiment for this sixth generation vintner, carrying on the family tradition, behind the label at steven kent winery.there you go. excellent. very cool! there's much more to come in wine country, up next, clever ways to open a bottle of wine. click on in wine country dot com to see behind the scenes photos watch videos download podcasts and sign up for our email newsletter all at in wine country dot com.
have you ever broken a cork opening a bottle of wine?then you know uncorking a bottle can sometimes be frustrating. well fear not, we've got a wine pro's essential tips to help you open that bottle. there's lots of corkscrews to choose from. probably the four most common would be the classic waiters corkscrew, the butterfly corkscrew, the screw pull and the ahso. master sommelier debbie zacheras says the first thing you need to know is how to cut the foil.i start off over here and i give it a cut this way and then i come back around this way cut the other side. now i've cut the whole thing. and then take it off. at home...it's this. now we need to get the cork out of the bottlemy favorite
type of corkscrew is just the basic waiters corkscrew start by getting the worm in the very center of the cork. and the key is really to go down straight. so now i'm going to turn the bottle so that i have my leverage where i need it to be and pull it right out.and wine bottles topped with wax are just as easy to open... just go straight down and the wax came off just on the very top of the corkdebbie says not to open wine with screw tops like you would a bottle of water...the aussies will tell you to screw by the skirt and what they mean is to just start like this. until you hear that popso this is an ahso and if you notice one of the prongs is significantly longer than the other. that is the prong that needs to go into the bottle first and then when i'm able to get the other side in, i'm going to jiggle this down very slowly.
then you just twist and pull the screw pull is a device that a lot of people use at home you want to bring the handle down and wrap this around the bottle, goes like this. bring it down this way, and comes right off. very easy. what's also is nice about this is now you bring it back down again and it takes the cork off for you.everybody who's grown up in the seventies and eighties has to be able to open a drawer and find the classic butterfly. you put the circle over the lip of the bottle...i just keep turning until it's done a little butterfly. and then... and that's the essentials on opening a perfect bottle of wine. now that you know everything you need to know about opening
wine, it's time to test your knowledge on another topic in our in wine country pop quiz. our question today, what is a cooper?is it...a. the aluminum foil on the top of a wine bottle b. a person who makes and repairs wine barrels orc. a small sports carthink you've got the answer? find out after the break. also ahead... mmm, sweet. as fresh as it gets, dining on food straight out of the garden, next in wine country.
barrels orc. a small sports carwell it is true there is a sports car called a mini cooper, but for our purposes the correct answer today is b. a cooper is a person who makes and repairs wine barrels. the craft of being a cooper dates back to the seventeenth century and, in many ways, the work hasn't changed much to this day. coopers know how to create a barrel's unique shape, including bending the wood without breaking it.the body of work produced by a cooper is called his "cooperage," a name which also refers to the place where a cooper works.and that's a cap on our in wine country pop quiz. wine country chefs find inspiration in many places. we met a sonoma county chef so inspired by european art and design, he's created a dining experience reflecting that passion.his culinary artistry also draws from the bounty of an organic garden not far from his restaurant.at our chef's
table, a menu full of mediterranean-inspired wine country flavors. i love carrots straight out of the ground.thank you make something really nice with these.chef carlo cavallo is on the hunt.just a few blossoms he's got a handful of zuchinni blossomsyou want them a little more closed than open but the open ones can work and some russet potatoes, unearthed by the garden's owner, phil coturri.everything that i farm is certified organic. this particular property has been farmed organically since 1980 we grow it for the flavors that we get off of the hillside garden and it's for our table; we eat everything organically at our house.there are also grapes growing here, since phil is also a well- known grower.phil and his wife arden share the garden's bounty with local chefs, like carlo.i work out trades with
carlo its with the excess that we bring down on a weekly basis and trade out for dinners and stuff.when i first opened up they came in they brought me ten pounds of asparagus. i was like "what's this", "oh this is a present for opening up" ha ha they told me they have a large garden and so we decided to set up a nice barter system. feel it. makie sure it's nice and formed. open it up mmm sweet. we just need some coturri's zin right now.i can't start drinking this early carlo.what kind of italian are you. when you have all of this stuff ready to eat we can have a glass of wine. there you go.once bins are full of phil's produce, they load up carlo's car for the journey to downtown sonoma. carlo's restaurant is meritage martini oyster bar and grill. the style of cuisine is northern italian and southern french kind of a blending of those two cuisines or style of
cuisines with a lot of local ingredients.carlo designed the restaurant with local handmade elements.we had hand blown glass from bacchus glass, which is made actually here in sonoma.we augmented that with antique redwood which we got off of old chicken barnswe recycled that woodand that's what we built our bar with. it's all a backdrop for his local ingredient-driven menu. carlo begings preps for a salad topped with zucchini blossoms, freshly picked in phil's garden.i'm stuffing the zucchini blossoms with dungeness crab.they will sit on a salad made of heirloom tomatoes, and the lemon cucumbers from the morning's harvest. the blossoms are dipped in batter, fried up...and then plated up. lemon cucumber heirloom tomato salad topped with dungeness crab stuffed zucchini blossoms. carlo also makes a dish out of
phil's potatoes and beets.. today we're gonna do a nice gnocchi, which we picked our potatoes and beets probably about an hour ago. now the fun part time to get dirtythe colorful gnocchi dough is made from these two root vegetables. pancetta...sauteed mushrooms. carlo prepares a sauce.he cooks the pasta...then adds it to his creamy mixture in the pan.once the dish is plated, it's ready for the finishing touch. it pairs with a wine made by phil coturri...the one and the same vegetable farmer. it's nice to see what you're growing get interpreted by somebody else. the pick of the crop, transformed into carlo's wine country-inspired cuisine. just around the corner from sonoma meritage you'll find a museum that's a little off the
beaten path but definitely worth discovering.on the grapevine, when you're looking for a break from wine tasting and touring, drop in for a cultural change of pace.sonoma is a place known for merlots not mona lisa's, but if chester arnold has his way that may soon change.the museum is more than just an adjunct to wine tasting tours in that it's a destination in itself.as a board member at the sonoma valley museum of art, chester knows from experience thinking big pays off. ten years ago, the community banded together to form this museum. and today it has - the largest membership of any museum in the north bay, maybe the northern california.and in the process, it's become the cultural hot spot in sonoma for locals to view art.in general what we're trying to do is get as many in here as
possible, and make it as accessible as possible.we have a really important student outreach program in which high school students actually curate and produce a show of their peers' work in lower grades. and that's a big community gathering.the exhibits rotate every six weeks which means...what people take away from the museum each time they come is going to be changingnevertheles s, chester is still taken back by the strong reactions the art receives - especially a recent exhibit dedicated to fallen soldiers..a friend of mine who is head of graduate studies at the san franciso art institure and said, after i stopped crying, i began to realize everything that could possibly happen with paint was happening on these walls.we try to put programs, quality programs together, and i think we do.and for sonoma, that means wine is no longer the only work of art on display. don't go away, you won't want to miss what's next, making every inch count in one of
next week in wine country... meet the vintner who helped put california wines on the map.plus, blending your own wine...and how to blend golf and wine together.also, the do's and don'ts of bringing wine to a restaurant.that's all next time in wine country. we've seen homes of all shapes and sizes in wine country. but we recently found one "shotgun" house has got to be the smallest. still the owner and her designer convinced us it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it. come along on our open house tour and see what you can do with less than one thousand square feet. welcome. come on in.gina
elliot owns this "jewel box" of-a-house in downtown st. helena, in the napa valley. it's called la villetta cara and la villetta cara in italian means precious, cara means "precious" and villetta means "little villa." and it just draws your eye upshe teamed up with interior designer leslie wilkes to try and create a grand look in this small spaceshe just saw this house as i saw it.it's such a charming, little, cozy home, i think that's what makes it so special. one of the most loveliest things too of this home is how you're greeted from outsidehello anybody home? with only 778 square feet to work with these ladies set out to maximize every inchwe
picked out this sofa not only can you use it during the day but it also opens up as a sofa bed at night for guests to stay over. in a small space like this you need to have a focal point that draws the eye upwards some of the examples of creating a point of interest and bringing your eye up can all work together so that's why we created this entry table and we made it long we didn't make it short because we wanted to emphasize that this was a long wall. i try to use mirrors in small spaces as much as possible, the bigger the better. and always try to bring the eye up. the goal in the bedroom is to blend comfort with function. what was so nice is the addition of the mirror like we did in the living room we added it to reflect light and to bring the eye up and reflect the room so it creates another dimension to the room. this cabinet was convertedthis
250 square foot room fits, an armoire, queen sized bed, and a desk.the biggest room in the house? the kitchen of course we have more cabinets in this kitchen than i do at my own home. we were lucky enough to have the size of kitchen that we could create and island and because we are in the napa valley we always have to have a wine cooling unit. we have a great bench seat here that seats up to three people at this table so really you could have six people around this table and then two more people at the bar you could have eight people in this little room. underneath the table we have built cabinets for extra storage. leslie says there are other tips and tricks for designing in small spaces...play with your space, don't make it serious, you know, bring in some organic items, found items, old items, new items, and create a vignette using
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